Air quality monitoring network quality assurance

OEH uses the following quality assurance procedure to ensure that air quality and meteorological parameters measured by the OEH air quality monitoring network are:

  • Precise - The data conforms to set guidelines for precision. Precision is tested through daily calibration checks.
  • Accurate - The data is accurate. Accuracy is determined by regular multi-point calibration and is dependent on instrument responses remaining linear.
  • Representative - The data collected from each site will be consistent with respect to time of day, siting and meteorological conditions.
  • Comparable - The data will be comparable to data collected by other institutions using similar collection methods.

Monitoring stations in the air quality monitoring network gather data on gaseous parameters (ozone, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen), fine particles (as PM10 and PM2.5), visibility, wind speed, wind direction, temperature and relative humidity. The instruments that measure these parameters conform to Australian and International Standards.

Air quality sampling

OEH is accredited by the National Association of Testing Authorities for the operation and maintenance of air quality instrumentation (accreditation number 14209).

Quality assurance procedure

Step 1 - Data is retrieved from instruments using a data logger and stored on-site as raw data files. The data logger is programmed to invalidate data from instrumentation that is not operating accurately. The raw data files are transmitted on an hourly basis from monitoring sites to a central file server.

Step 2 - A database loading program loads the raw data file into the corporate air quality database according to pre-determined validation and calibration rules, and the data is flagged as production data.

Step 3 - Quality assurance staff reconcile data stored in the production database using various software applications and daily reports, in consultation with field staff on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

Step 4 - Data irregularities are identified from data requests or analysis reports.

Page last updated: 13 November 2015